Archive for the ‘Sandy Alderson’ Category

Reyes Signing In A Nutshell

December 8, 2011

For those of you with a short attention span like me here is the Reyes signing in a nutshell.

  • The Front Office had a clear line in terms of what they could afford to pay Jose.
  • This number was floated to Jose’s agents in a ballpark manner.
  • The Marlins blew the number out of the water.
  • The Front Office was very comfortable with letting Jose go and taking the compensatory draft picks rather than grossly over paying him.
  • For the record the compensatory picks include a sandwich pick between 1st & 2nd round, as well as pick 9b in round two.
  • It will suck to see Jose play for the Fish and their gaudy uniforms, but I am fine with how this transpired.

Showing Love Is Lame

I cringe when professional athletes start blathering on about teams showing them or not showing them love as far as criteria for signing is concerned.  The fact that Jeffrey Loria showed up at Jose’s doorstep at 12:01am on the first day of free agency had very little to do with #7 winding up in Miami.  The six years at $102 million had everything to do with it.

Love ya Jose, thanks for all you did for us, but come on man…you’re not fooling me.  Besides, I don’ t blame you for signing with the fish, no one else in their right mind would have turned that deal down.

At the end of the day, money talks and bullshit walks (I sound so tough don’t I?).  So let’s dispense with the notion that this decision was based on anything else but the very generous number of years and dollars Miami offered.

Something tells me Sandy Alderson has a similar point of view, and I dig it….

“If you’re asking whether I should have sent him a box of chocolates, perhaps I should have done that. On the other hand, the box of chocolates wouldn’t have cost $106 million either.”-Sandy Alderson

History Repeating Itself

A quick thought about the fish.  This franchise has a history of overspending on free agents for a short successful run, dismantling the pieces, then being irrelevant for a number of years.  Why is this current mad dash any different?

For the record, I’m not knocking it.  I don’t prefer it as I would prefer my team to build a franchise of long sustainable success.  But whatever floats your boat man.

That’s All I Have To Say About That

At this point, the Reyes drama is resolved.  Ruben is my shortstop now.  In the immortal words of Coach Norman Dale,

“My team is on the floor.”

Blame the Wilpons…

The Difference Between Omar & Mr. Alderson

December 7, 2011

“I think our biggest priority when we came to these meetings was to try to strengthen our bullpen.  We knew we had to rebuild it. To get it done the way it happened today, I’m amazed by it. Those were three very, very good arms — power arms. It’s going to give us huge depth down there now. And I think it’s going to make a difference. – Terry Collins

We all remember the end of 2008, no matter how hard we try to forget it.  Another chance at the playoffs wasted, due largely in part to an inept bullpen.  General Manager, Omar Minaya, fixed the problem by throwing $38 million at Francisco Rodriguez for three years.  Although Rodriguez was somewhat effective, no one can argue he was $38 million effective.

Flash forward to 2012.  The Mets again are dealing with bullpen issues.  Instead of investing 12 plus million on one player, Sandy Alderson invested almost the same amount on three arms (when comparing the single season salaries).  Granted, Ramon Ramirez, Jon Rauch, or Frank Francisco aren’t the same caliber reliever as what K-Rod was back in 2008.  However, I argue the combination of the three improve the Mets bullpen ten fold compared to the K-Rod fix.

Before you start to think this is a post about how much smarter Sandy Alderson is compared to Omar Minaya let me stop you.  I don’t believe this to be the biggest difference in the two.  Just like anything in baseball it eventually comes down to dollars and cents.

Omar Minaya filled rosters during the “who gives a shit about fiscal responsibility, let’s invest a bunch of money with Bernie Madoff, and spend frivolously on free agent band aids” era of the Wilpons.  Sandy Alderson is doing his job in the new era of “holly shit, we are broke and need to stop the bleeding” era of the Wilpons.

Keeping this all in mind, I don’t have a lot of patience with people who bitch and moan about “small market Sandy” and he didn’t make a solid offer to Jose.  Look at the reality of what the Mets are now.  Once I did, I feel the front office is doing everything they can to be as competitive as they can with the budget they have to play with.

Good  Bye Angel

A quick thought on the Angel Pagan trade.  I dig it.  Pagan wasn’t happy playing for the Mets.  I don’t really care why, but it was pretty obvious.  This unhappiness probably lead to all of the mental errors we saw during his tenure.

Andres Torres isn’t anything to write home about, but he is serviceable and at least won’t consistently miss the cutoff man or make little league-esque base running errors.

My Take On The Mets

I’m bummed Reyes is gone, but surprisingly enough, I am pretty much over it.  I’m glad the front office stayed true to their plan and improved the bullpen rather than committing mass suicide because they don’t have access to trillions of dollars like the Miami Marlins.  Pitching will always outweigh hitting in my opinion.

I can’t say I’m expecting a playoff caliber team.  However, I believe the Mets will be competitive (middle of the pack competitive).  Who knows?  Maybe Johan Santana miraculously comes back as a true ace, David Wright plays like he did in 2006-2008, Ike Davis will pan out to  be the slugger we have desperately been missing, and Mike Pelfrey will be a consistent #2 (enter double entendre jokes here).

The bottom line is I am genuinely interested to see how this team will perform with an average team and a solid manager.  One thing is for sure, I’m not going to spend time whining about the Mets not spending money they don’t have.   Regardless if they are from New York or not, facts are facts and they don’t have the dough.  Blaming the current roster or the front office for anything wrong with the franchise is a mistake.

Blame the Wilpons, because the shit associated with this franchise has clearly rolled down hill.

Heading To Cincy

July 26, 2011

In a few hours I will embark on my journey to Cincinnati, Ohio to watch the Mets.  As an out of market fan, this will be the only occasion I get to see them in person.  Needless to say I am looking forward to it.

Bearing that in mind, I’m not sure how quickly I’ll be posting my thoughts about the experience. It will be late as hell when I get back home and I have to work tomorrow.

So make sure to follow our Twitter account as I’ll be tweeting during this year’s experience.  Not sure how much time I’ll have to reply while I’m at the game, so don’t feel like I’m ignoring you.  I just don’t want to be on my phone the entire time.  The members of my group will probably slug me.  My wife can punch really really hard.   Plus, I’m not sure how much of the game I would actually get to see.

The Great American Ballpark Experience

I have to admit, watching games at the Great American Ballpark is a nice experience.

1.  I have yet to have a poor sight line.

2.  Tickets are normally affordable, even after their playoff appearance last season.

3.  The stadium is right next to the Ohio River which provides an interesting backdrop to the game.

4.  Reds fans are normally hospitable even though we are typically sporting Mets gear.

There is only one exception to this that I can recall.  I don’t hold it against the typical Reds fan.  The ass that decided to boo my five-year old son (at the time) for wearing his David Wright jersey has to live with himself.  Not to mention he had to deal with the look I gave him that said in no uncertain terms, “Pipe it moron, or you’ll find yourself doggie paddling in the river.”

5.  It doesn’t take 4.5 hours to leave the city after the game.

My fondest memory so far is watching Carlos Delgado crush an absolute bomb down the right field line.  It was so high, I had no idea how the umpires could determine whether it was fair or foul.  It also literally left the stadium.  Utterly amazing.

A Little Help From Mr. Alderson

I posses only one fear about this trip.    To show up and find out that Carlos Beltran is not in the lineup because he’s been traded.  So, I figured I’d compose this letter to Sandy Alderson:

Dear Mr. Alderson

As you know, I have been supportive of your efforts from day one.  I defend you to those that oppose your superior baseball intelligence and realistic approach to building a baseball organization.  I am not in the “spend spend spend to win” club.

Never once have I asked anything of you.  I have quietly allowed you to go about your business building the Mets of the future.

I finally have a small request.  Do not trade Carlos Beltran today.  Wait until at least tomorrow.

I would be extremely grateful to have one last opportunity to watch him play in a Mets uniform.

That is all.  Thank you for your consideration,

Jason, midwestropolitan.com Founder

P.S.  While I’m making requests, game tickets and free air fare to NYC once a month for a series would be cool.  I’m just sayin’.

 

Win-Win Situation

July 15, 2011

Realistically speaking, no one truly believed the Mets would be anywhere near .500 at this point of the season, so the team has overachieved.  A suprising 46-45 record in the first half of the season has at least given the Mets a chance to compete in the second half of the season.  For how long is yet to be determined.

The next 12 games are critical and everyone associated with the Mets knows it.  Maybe I’m off my rocker, but this point of the season has a playoff feel for me.  Time has now run out and .500 baseball will no longer cut it in terms of making it to the post season.

It will be extremely interesting to see how the team responds.  They certainly have their work cut out for them.

Even if the Mets falter, or maintain their current level for that matter, the alternative to contending in 2011 isn’t a horrific one.

Building a team that can win in 2012 may be on the docket in a couple of weeks.  I am pretty comfortable knowing Sandy Alderson will be making decisions for 2012 rather than Omar Minaya.  Even though it has been a relatively small sample size, I like what I have seen so far in terms of the decisions made by the front office.

Alderson has walked the line of competing in 2011 without jeopardizing the future quite well.  He appears to be giving this current group as long as possible to prove they are legitimate contenders for the post season.  That’s all you can ask of your General Manager.

  • It started with the manager.  Remember the detractors that hated this decision?  Some wanted Wally, some just wanted to complain.  Terry Collins has clearly proven he was the right man for the job at this point.
  • Inheriting a pitching staff with his number one starter out for the majority of the season (maybe the entire season), Alderson made a few intelligent gambles in signing Chris Capuano and Chris Young.  He only needed one to be reliable.  We had our money on that one being Young, but it turned out Cap has been the solid performer.
  • Alderson’s willingness to address his own mistakes head on has been a plus.  Brad Emaus and D.J. Carassco were clearly designated for prominent roles with this club.  They demonstrated quickly that they weren’t going to succeed, so decisions were made efficiently to give others a chance to help the team win.  There was very little time wasted in either case.
  • The K-Rod trade was a shrewd and wise move.  Yes, this effected the 2011 club (how much is still up for debate), but mortgaging 2012 as well would have been clearly worse.  People need to remember it is his job to think of the long-term first and foremost.  Holding on to an aging closer with one of the worst player options in franchise history when you are 7.5 games behind the Wild Card would have been plain foolish.
  • This may be a bit polarizing but I like how Alderson has approached Jose Reyes’ future.  I simplify it in this way, if you were responsible for investing 80 to 120 million dollars on one single employee, wouldn’t you want to observe that particular employee for a while?  My interpretation of where Alderson stands on Jose is that he is going to make a significant effort to re-sign him in the off season.  Yes this is a risk, but this is not a black and white decision.  There is significant risk with any path Alderson chooses.  The only way he can assure he makes the right decision is if he has a DeLorean as a time machine and I have a funny feeling he does not have one at his disposal.

Basically, we have two potential outcomes.

1.  The Mets take it up a notch and play winning baseball, in effect providing us with a surprising and exhilarating playoff run.

2.  The Mets continue to exceed expectations by playing .500 ball or their level of play drops a bit, and the front office starts building for 2012. With an intelligent and shrewd front office, I am confident that the Mets will be even more competitive in 2012.

I realize option two means that my favorite player, Carlos Beltran, will not finish the season as a Met.  If Alderson and company obtain some significant compensation for his services, I’ll think of it as Beltran’s last contribution to the club.  I am willing to cut any emotional ties if it means the Mets have a chance to contend next year.

The one thing that seems to be certain (barring major swoons by the Phillies and/or Braves), is we’ll have a pretty good idea of which outcome by July 31st.

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K-Rod Trade: Not A White Flag, A Smart Move

July 13, 2011

In trading K-Rod to Milwaukee, Sandy Alderson has made the best of a bad situation. K-Rod’s contract was heavy and his option was obviously an enormous cause for concern. K-Rod wasn’t going to be the catalyst to a playoff run, either.

If the Mets do make a run it will be because they play a couple weeks of flawless baseball starting immediately, get a little bit of help and consequently decide to hold on to Carlos Beltran. If and when the Mets elect to trade Beltran, that would be raising the white flag because his presence in the lineup is invaluable.

Alderson may elect to move Beltran regardless instead of letting him walk, but I still believe the next couple of weeks will play a big factor into that decision.

For the time being, I wouldn’t be opposed to Bobby Parnell closing out ballgames. Izzy looks exhausted.

__________________

Note: The amount of cash heading Milwaukee’s way hasn’t been confirmed as of the time I am typing this, so bother Jason if this post is outdated by the time I wake up. I can’t promise he’ll care.

Update from Jason:  Reports are saying the Mets will eat $5 million of K-Rod’s salary.  By my quick math, that is still $12.5 million better than holding on to him and letting his option vest.  A big thanks goes out to Tom for having seven of his family members out east call me at separate times to remind me to look into the cash details. 

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Shhhhh, Keep This Between You And Me

July 7, 2011

se·cret [see-krit]

adjective
1.done, made, or conducted without the knowledge of others: secret negotiations.
2.kept from the knowledge of any but the initiated or privileged: a secret password.
3.faithful or cautious in keeping confidential matters confidential; close-mouthed; reticent.

noun
8.something that is or is kept secret, hidden, or concealed.
9.a mystery: the secrets of nature.
10.a reason or explanation not immediately or generally apparent.

For those of you that prefer concrete examples, here is a secret that I know about Tom:

He collects and plays with Barbie Dolls.  After he shared that with me, he told me that he would kick my ass if I told anyone.  I have known this for about a year and haven’t told a soul.

———

According to the New York Post, the Mets are preparing to enter into “secret” talks with Jose Reyes’ agents about a potential new deal. Before I get into what I think about this possibility, allow me to rant a bit about the media’s new obsession with secrets (see NFL labor talks).

Let me begin with the obvious point that once the public knows about these talks they are no longer secret.  Right?

The proper way to describe this is that both parties are entering into negotiations (non-secretive mind you), and they wish to keep the details of the discussion private.

Attention all reporters:  stop using the word secret incorrectly to make yourself sound important.

Look, I am a reasonable guy, if you are really jonesing to use the word secret, you could say that both parties wish to keep the details of the meetings secret.

On to my reaction to the potential deal…

I’ve been on record stating I want Jose to stay.  This latest hamstring injury does not sway me at all, so I’m ecstatic about this possibility.

A word of caution, there is no guarantee a deal is imminent.  No one really knows how much Jose is looking for and what exactly the Mets are willing to spend.

What we can learn from this is that the Mets appear to value Jose and are willing to attempt to re-sign him.  I realize this isn’t an earth shattering realization, but for some it was an absolute certainty that Sandy Alderson and company were gong to part ways with our favorite shortstop.

Please don’t try to convince me this is ruse to try to appease the fan base either.  If you truly believe the front office has enough time to spend on negotiations in which there is zero intent to actually sign Jose, then you need to head out to New Mexico and start looking for Area 51.

Needless to say, it will be interesting to see how all of this will play out and what other secrets we will learn in the days to come.

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Jose’s Hamstring: What Do You Believe?

July 4, 2011

As yesterday progressed I was almost convinced it was going to be one of the shittiest weekends in the history of my Met fandom.  The Mets were well on their way to being swept by the damn Yankees and news about Jose Reyes’ bum hamstring was non-existent.

The lack of reports concerning his MRI results had me almost convinced we were going to hear he would be out for the rest of the season.  Why else would they wait to release the results?  My belief was that the Mets didn’t want the outcome of the kick in the nether region results to affect the team even more, as they tried to salvage at least one win against the Yanks.

Turns out I was wrong.  This time, I am perfectly happy to admit it.

So how will all of this play out?  How many games will Jose miss?  Let’s take a look at what Jose, Terry Collins, and Sandy Alderson are saying:

“I think it’s good.   Just a little bit of strain. Nothing big. I know we’re going to take it one day at a time and see what happens. Today when I got up I feel even better than yesterday. That’s very good news……Everybody wants to be there, wants to play.  Hopefully, I feel better in a couple of days.”- Jose Reyes

Like all players, Jose likely believes he will miss the minimum amount of games possible.  One thing Met fans should have learned by now is not to count on what the players say as far as their return is concerned.  Ike Davis thought he would be back in a day or two.   David Wright believed he would be back in a few weeks.  Shall I go on?

I am tickled pink that Jose will be back sooner rather than later.  However, I hope he doesn’t over do it in order to get back on the field.  For me, it will be difficult to watch the first handful of games he comes back.  I’ll be wincing every time he starts running hoping like hell he doesn’t come up lame after one of his trademark bursts of speed.

“It’ll be a challenge. I think we are going to be up for it.  Certainly we’ve dealt with some adversity so far this season. We’re resilient, we’ll bounce back and when we find out what the situation is going to be with him today, we’ll make sure our guys are ready to play.”- Terry Collins

Another example of why we are digging Terry Collins here at Midwestropolitan.  He’s just like every other human on the planet.  So I’m sure in his mind he is like “This is just perfect.  I must have done something wrong to piss somebody off.  Damn.”

Instead of vocalizing the natural “oh woe is me” thought, he immediately started focusing on winning with what he has.  The message to the players:  “I believe in you, don’t think this is going to become an excuse not to play your asses off.”

“We have to take it one day at a time.  We’re not making any predictions at the moment……We’re going to have to rely on Jose himself. We’re going to have to rely on Ray Ramirez and the training staff.   We’re going to have to rely on the doctors as well who are interpreting his condition as time goes on. It’s going to have to be something that we monitor. I’m sure he’ll want to play and I’m sure he’ll want to play in the All-Star Game, but that’s something we’re going to have to look at.”- Sandy Alderson

Mr. Alderson is too smart to associate a time frame on Jose’s return. He understands that hamstrings can be tricky, particularly when you are speaking about a player that relies on speed as one of his top weapons.  Mr. Alderson’s plan seems reasonable and par for the course.  Collect all information possible from relevant sources and then proceed from there.  Until the information is reliable there is no need to make a decision.

Reading between the lines he is also saying, “I understand and am sympathetic that Jose will want to get back as soon as possible and I know he wants to play in the All-Star Game.  However, let’s make sure the Mets’ best interest is considered here.  Keep in mind we will be leery on allowing you to do either if we feel you are risking re-injury.  Let’s talk.”

Regardless of what is going to happen in the next few days, we now have another thing to monitor closely as the season progresses.  It will cause a bit more stress to an already over stressed lot, but it is much better than the alternative we all thought we were facing less than 24 hours ago.

 

Walks, Bay, and More Reyes Talk

June 21, 2011

Walks kill.  Tonight it’s just that simple.

The most shocking thing about tonight’s walk fest is that it came during a Dillon Gee start.  Here’s a guy that usually has good command of four pitches and he winds up walking six batters in four innings.  The humbling nature of the game strikes again.

You didn’t really think Gee would go undefeated did you?  I have confidence he’ll bounce back though.  There’s enough of a track record from the end of last season through this year to lead me to believe so.

At Least Jason Bay Had A Good Game

Unbelievable.  Jason Bay came to play today.  Hopefully this wasn’t a fluke as the Mets sure could use a productive power bat right now.

How shocking was this game for Bay?  Check out my reaction when Tom sent me a text about Bay’s Blast while I was at the little league field:

“My God.  Bay hit one out.”- Tom

“Bullshit.  Not possible.”- Me

More Jose Blather

Reports are surfacing that Jose and his agents have declined to talk extension with Sandy Alderson recently.  I understand that people will want to read something into this.  But the truth is Jose has been saying this all season.

“It’s not about the money, it’s about me (being) comfortable.  Nothing’s changed. I want to stay here. Like I always say, I want to be a New York Met all my career. But right now I just want to play baseball.”

Even Alderson isn’t surprised.

“I’m not sure I would even label it a disappointment in the sense that it wasn’t a surprise.”

So neither should we be.  Just another chance for people to get their undies all in a twist.

The Reality of Reyes Rumors

June 18, 2011

This is certainly an anxious time for us.  We are in the midst of trying to deal with the possibility of one of the most talented home grown Mets leaving the franchise in his prime.

It’s hard. The daily barrage of Jose Reyes speculation can be mind numbing.  I would say the majority of people in the media and many fans believe that Reyes leaving the Mets is a forgone conclusion.  I would also say that the majority of the people in the media and many fans believe the Mets don’t have enough money to re-sign Jose.

This may be wishful thinking on my part, but there are two important facts that really are the only things that matter right now.

1.  Neither Sandy Alderson, Jose Reyes, or Jose Reyes’ agents have made any statement regarding their actual position on signing Reyes or what it will take to do so.

That’s the funny thing about speculation.  It’s not fact.  It’s people taking all available information (or for some, taking only segments of information), and formulating an opinion.  The key word being opinion there.

2.  Human beings change their mind.

When it comes down to it, people change their minds all the time.  A few years ago I was minutes away from buying a car.  Something was said that changed things and I wound up purchasing an entirely different make and model at an entirely different dealership.

Just because Fred Wilpon opened his yapper back in April doesn’t mean he hasn’t changed his mind now.  Let’s face it, things are a bit different these days.

It is fun and interesting to speculate. But I always keep in the back of my mind, that all that matters is what a small handful of people think.  Jose Reyes is the only one that knows just how much he wants to stay in New York and how much it will take to keep him there…..maybe.  My guess is, he is still trying to work through it.

The Wilpons and Sandy Alderson are the only ones that know how much they want to keep Reyes and how much they are willing to spend on him.  Again, my guess is they are still trying to work through that.

So I get a chuckle at those that give definitive statements like this one from Ken Rosenthal:

“The Mets are unlikely to keep Reyes unless he accepts a lesser deal.”

Oh really Ken?  I don’t see a quote from Fred Wilpon or Sandy Alderson.  Even if you are talking to sources within the organization, how likely is it that even they can tell you exactly what Alderson and the Wilpons actually believe?

Now I’m not bashing Kenny here.  His story is about Jose Reyes considering changing his representation to Scott Boras.  Again, according to “sources”.  Interesting for sure. Fact?  Who knows.

So until I read a report about Jose actually signing his name to a contract, I’ll anguish about the future and read all of the interesting speculation.  It’s entertaining.  However, you won’t be reading any kind of statement of certainty from me about what will happen with Jose.  There are too many humans involved in this process.

Update:

Here’s an actual quote from Jose after Rosenthal’s piece stirred things up:

” I said, ‘Peter, I’m going to be with you, so don’t worry about anything. I’m with you. I’m happy with you, so don’t think I’m going to let you go now because it’s not going to happen.’”

Looks like we can put one rumor to bed.  Sandy Alderson will not be negotiating with Scott Boras.  Unless of course something happens that changes his mind……

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Coincidence?

June 16, 2011

Bob Ley, host of Outside the Lines on ESPN, pointed out today that in the 19 games since Fred Wilpon’s feelings regarding Jose Reyes became publicly known, Reyes is hitting an astonishing .429. Further, in those 19 games Reyes has tallied 14 multi-hit games.

Adam Rubin pointed out a few days ago that Jose is making it harder for the Mets to let him walk and perhaps even harder to keep him.

Today on OTL, Adam Rubin also said:

  • Sandy Alderson plans to contact Jose’s agent at some point before the deadline to get an idea of what kind of money Reyes might be expecting.
  • Now that the Mets have reached .500 it is very unlikely that Jose will be moved by the deadline. It is more likely that the Mets will “take a stab” at re-signing him in the off-season.
  • The main hold ups are the money (obviously) and the length of a potential contract. Alderson isn’t a fan of signing players to long-term deals, so if Reyes wants 7 years it complicates things, especially considering Reyes would be 35 by the end of that type of contract.

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